PGA Tour players who finished out of the top 125 on the FedEx Cup now have another option where to play: the European tour.
The DP World Tour is offering full membership to PGA Tour players who finish between Nos. 126 and 200 this year, although there is a caveat. Only five players who accept European tour membership can play a tournament in any given week.
That would keep as many as 75 PGA Tour players from filling out European tour fields.
The European tour is creating a new category for anyone on the PGA Tour taking it up on the offer. Category 12 follows a career money exemption, but it is positioned ahead of the top 20 players who advance out of the Challenge Tour.
The PGA Tour has three tournaments left in its FedEx Cup Fall portion of the schedule. Among those currently outside the top 125 are Jimmy Walker, Patton Kizzire, Russell Knox of Scotland and Jason Dufner.
Without this option, players outside the top 125 would try to get into PGA Tour events with weak fields or go to the Korn Ferry Tour, where the top 30 players on the points list earn their way to the PGA Tour.
The announcement made Monday is part of the strategic alliance announced last year. The top 10 players from the European tour not already exempt earn PGA Tour cards for the 2024 season. Their priority comes right after the players who finish in the top 125.
“Our ‘Ten Cards’ initiative will give the opportunity for DP World Tour members to excel on the PGA Tour next season and this new membership opportunity announced today will give PGA Tour members the chance to do exactly the same on our tour,” said European tour CEO Keith Pelley. “I am excited at the possibilities.”
The European tour also said affiliate membership will be available to any PGA Tour member during 2024. They would be part of a nonmember points list that could allow them to qualify for the postseason if they play at least four times outside the majors.
PGA Tour players who want to take up Europe on the offer will have to join by Dec. 20. Anyone wishing to play in the European tour co-sanctioned events in November and December (mostly in South Africa and Australia) would need to join by Nov. 22.
The European tour has the Qatar Masters this week, followed by the Nedbank Challenge in South Africa and the DP World Tour Championship in Dubai. The leading 10 players on the points list currently include Adrian Meronk, Ryan Fox, Min Woo Lee, Robert MacIntyre and Thorbjorn Olesen.
This is the year Talor Gooch got the best of Dustin Johnson in LIV Golf.
Gooch left Johnson’s team (4 Aces) after the inaugural season and joined up with Bubba Watson and the RangeGoats. Gooch not only won the individual title, the RangeGoats finished second and the 4 Aces finished fourth.
Two seasons into the Saudi-funded league, Gooch now has won $45,694,512, narrowly ahead of Johnson and his $44,377,445.
Three other players already have cleared $25 million after two seasons — Cameron Smith ($29,333,917), Brooks Koepka ($25,771,933) and Branden Grace ($25,037,167).
For all his money, Gooch is not currently eligible for any of the majors next year.
“Hopefully, people will get together in the golf world and figure out how do we make sure the best of the best are playing in the best tournaments, which are the majors,” Gooch said. “It’s out of my control, but hopefully I’ve done everything I can within my control to prove that I’m one of the best players in the world.”
Billy Horschel and his wife, Brittany, launched their Horschel Family Foundation on Tuesday, geared toward supporting addiction recovery, contributing to food banks and honoring the military.
Brittany Horschel announced in 2017 she was dealing with alcoholism and since has used social media and a blog, The Sober Modern Mom. Now she will serve as founder and president of the foundation.
“Billy and I find more joy in helping and watching others succeed than we do ourselves, and we have always dreamed and spoken at length about having our own foundation,” Brittany Horschel said. “We have watched from the sidelines as many of our friends have begun theirs, attended handfuls of events and supported many. We have waited in the helm until our time was right, until our hearts and minds were ready to fully invest into the causes that are near and dear to us.”
She said the hope was to “help steer the world towards a more healthy, positive and loving place for future generations to come.”
The Horschels are launching the foundation at PGA Tour headquarters. They are partnering with the tour to address substance abuse and mental health opportunities in North Florida.
Among the programs they are starting is “PAR,” designed to remove barriers that keep people from seeking help — privacy, access and resources.
“Through collaboration with the PGA Tour and various local mental health and addiction specialists, we hope to provide pathways for healing,” she said.
INGRID’S BIG WEEK
Ingrid Lindblad had a week to remember. She had her luggage stolen from the airport in Orlando, Florida. Despite the distraction, she was a medalist in the second stage of LPGA Tour qualifying school. And then she turned down the final stage to go back to LSU to finish her senior season.
Her bizarre journey began when she was informed her suitcase was put on an earlier flight to Orlando during her layover in Atlanta. When she landed in Orlando, her airtag indicated the bag was leaving the airport.
Lindblad, the No. 1 player in the women’s world amateur ranking, filled out a police report and then went on a quick shopping spree for clothes.
And then she won the second stage by four shots, making her eligible for the Q-Series that leads to an LPGA Tour card.
That’s where the journey ends.
The LPGA changed its rules so that players must turn pro before going to Q-Series. Lindblad would rather finish at the Southeastern Conference college and then be assured of Epson Tour status when she’s done with school.
“I was talking to my coaches, and I really like it at LSU,” she said. “This year we have a really good team, so I just want to give it a chance to get another SEC and maybe a national championship.”
Rose Zhang has finished out of the top 25 in her last seven starts. … Three of the four FedEx Cup Fall tournaments have been won by players from the top 50 in the world ranking — Sahith Theegala, Tom Kim and Collin Morikawa. … Justin Leonard (U.S.), Robert Karlsson (Europe) and Stephen Ames (International) have been added to the World Cup Champions event to be held Dec. 7-10. … South Africa had seven players among the top 100 in the world two years ago. Now the only player is Thriston Lawrence at No. 96. … Cameron Smith and Talor Gooch are among 13 full-time players at LIV Golf who have entered the Hong Kong Open in two weeks. Graeme McDowell is playing consecutive weeks in the China Open and Hong Kong Open, both part of the Asian Tour.
STAT OF THE WEEK
Talor Gooch made $9,060,980 in 116 tournaments over five seasons on the PGA Tour. He made $45,694,512 in 20 tournaments over two seasons in LIV Golf.
“Everyone in this field, everyone that plays professional golf, they’re good enough to win. We’re not trying to search for too much. Sometimes when you do search for too much, that’s when these weeks become longer and more stressful.” — Collin Morikawa.